Which plastic shopping bags are being phased out

Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage has confirmed the Government’s intention to phase out single-use plastic shopping bags under 70 microns by 1 July 2019. This page has photos of single-use plastic shopping bags that are included in the proposed mandatory phase out.

When we talk about plastic shopping bags, microns is a measurement of thickness.

Single-use plastic shopping bags included in the proposed phase out.

35 microns or more, and less than 50

35 micron plastic bags

These tend to be heavier weight single-use plastic shopping bags, including supermarket check-out bags, and light-weight boutique-style shopping bags. They are typically made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and in some cases may be labelled as ‘compostable’ and ‘degradable’.

50 microns or more and less than 70

An example of 50 or micron plastic bags

These tend to be boutique-style plastic shopping bags. They include the ‘emergency’ LDPE multi-use bags. They are typically made from LDPE (low-density polyethylene) and in some cases may be labelled as ‘compostable’ and ‘degradable.  

Shopping bags not being phased out

70 microns or more

Examples of reusable shopping bags

Heavier weight reusable bags manufactured using a range of fabrics and composites.

Reusable bags are typically measured by weight (grams per square metre), not thickness. They are multi-use and can be non-woven polypropylene, plain or coated.

They could be:

  • hessian with plasticised lining and padded cotton handles

  • canvas, hessian, recycled fabric, woven polypropylene

  • lightweight nylon fabric.

 

Reviewed:
24/11/18